Video Poker Strategy Guide for Newbies


One of the most important things in video poker strategy you need to bear in mind especially if you are new to the game is which of the five cards you need to hold or keep and then which to let go of. So, you need to have some basic knowledge of which cards are more valuable than others and know about the five card draw before developing strategies of your own. That said there are a number of strategies which can be employed in order to improve your chances of winning at online video poker or at video poker machines in casinos.

Using the Martingale Betting System

The Martingale System of betting dates back to the gambling halls of the 18th century. The system can essentially be applied to any and all casino games. However, it is not frequently used for games like Video Poker and Blackjack, the leading reason being that these games require skill and good strategy to win. The other reason is that these games have a max betting limit and so the Martingale system cannot be adequately used.

Though the Martingale system may look lucrative, with the player doubling his or her bet each time by knowing that he may recover his losses at some point in the future the fact is that it’s not a good system when playing Video Poker. In games like video poker players can reach a point of unrecoverable and exponential losses. Also the Martingale system will not work if there isn’t any non-withdrawal of cash in the game. This is why it’s best to use any one of the Poker strategies discussed below to improve your chances of winning instead of using the Martingale system of betting.

Dealing with a low Pair Strategy

There are many people who have no idea what to do if they are dealt a low pair of 10s for instance. Even though you may be tempted to just draw a simple straight or give your luck a try by going with exchanging all 5 cards with a new set, we suggest that its best to keep the low pair. The only exception to this rule is if you have been dealt a 4 card flush, royal straight flush or straight flush. In cases like these you would want to draw to the straight flush or flush since you have good odds of getting away with the flush which obviously means a high payout. For instance, if you have the Jack of spades, Queen, King and Ace of hearts, you may want to discard the ace of hearts to try and hit the straight royal flush, since the four card straight royal flush is much higher than having a high pair. Keeping this one simple video poker strategy in mind will help you a great deal.

What to Hold and fold when Playing Video poker?

We’ve put together a useful table of which cards to hold in a hand which should be referred to when playing video poker.

Your hand Cards to discard
Royal or Straight flush 0
Four of a kind 1
Four card royal straight flush 1
Full house 0
Flush 0
Straight 0
Three of a kind 2
Four card straight flush 1
Two pairs 1
A high pair(usually jacks or something better) 3
A three card royal flush 2
Four card flush 1
Low pairĀ  (10s or maybe lower) 3
Four card straight (open ended) 2
Just two suited high cards 2
A Three card flush 2
Two unsuited yet high cards(maybe jacks or even better) 3
Single high card (Jack or better) 4
You have none of the above hands 5

Holding the Low Pair

When you have a hand that has 4 of diamonds, 4 hearts, Ace of diamonds, Queen of Clubs and 6 of Spades, hold on to the low pair. Never hold the kicker, since you will be reducing your chances of ending up with a better hand like three of a kind or even a two pair for that matter.

Holding Unsuited Cards

When you have a hand which contains Jack of clubs, 8 of clubs, Queen of diamonds, 2 of diamonds, ace of spades, keep the Jack and Queen but throw out the Ace. Never hold 3 unsuited cards and especially if you see that there is a gap.

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